5 Items ODs Need to Know to Obtain a Malpractice Insurance Quote
When it comes time to shop for a malpractice insurance policy, there are a few pieces of information doctors of optometry need to be familiar with to simplify the quoting process. Below are common questions you may be asked during the quote process.
- County and State of Practice – Location is a factor that can affect malpractice insurance rates, due to local requirements and claims history. It is important to note that the location you include is the county and state in which you will be practicing, and not your county and state of residence. If you anticipate working in more than one county, you should use the county with the larger population for your malpractice insurance quote, as population is a contributing factor in determining malpractice insurance premiums.
- Are you in your first or second year of practice? – Lockton Affinity offers discounts to ODs who are in their first or second year of practice to celebrate the launch of a new career. For many ODs, the first year of practice will begin directly after they’ve received their license and begin working within a practice.
For ODs who choose to complete a residency, the first year of practice designation is determined a bit differently:
If you choose to do a residency and your program does not require you to obtain your own malpractice insurance coverage, you will be considered to be in your first year of practice when you take your first job following the completion of your residency.
If your residency does require you to obtain your own malpractice insurance coverage, your residency will be considered your first year of practice, potentially qualifying you for a discount with Lockton Affinity’s malpractice insurance program.
- Average number of hours you practice per week – This average should be comprised of all hours you work or anticipate working as an optometrist in a week, even if you work in multiple practices throughout the week. Be sure to include any hours spent interacting by remote means with patients.
- What date do you want your coverage to start? – With some malpractice providers, it is possible to receive malpractice coverage as soon as 24 hours following the submission of an application for coverage. This means that if a new employer asks you to begin practicing sooner than you may have expected, you can request that your coverage begin as early as one day after submitting your application, and you can begin practicing right away with the peace of mind that you are protected.
- What are your desired limits? – When selecting limits for a malpractice insurance quote, you will likely see the limits depicted as options such as $1,000,000/$3,000,000 or $2,000,000/$4,000,000, but you may not know exactly what those numbers mean. These numbers refer to the per occurrence limits (the first number depicted in each example) and the aggregate limits (the second number depicted in each example). If you were to select $1,000,000/$3,000,000, for example, this would mean that there would be up to $1,000,000 in malpractice insurance coverage available for each individual claim, and there would be up to $3,000,000 of malpractice insurance coverage available across all claims filed during the policy period. Some states have specific requirements regarding malpractice insurance limits, so it is imperative to review your state’s guidelines when selecting your limits. Many insurance companies and vision plans have minimum coverage requirements for participation as a provider, so be sure your coverage meets those requirements.
AOA members can receive a malpractice insurance quick quote in less than thirty seconds from AOAExcel’s endorsed malpractice insurance provider, Lockton Affinity.
This content was provided by Lockton Affinity, AOAExcel's strategic partner. Available insurance products include professional liability, cyber liability, business owners' insurance, employment practices liability insurance, and much more. To learn more, visit AOAInsuranceAlliance.com or contact Lockton Affinity at Info@AOAInsuranceAlliance.com.
Read the story of an OD left vulnerable by their insurance carrier and learn how you can protect yourself from unclear coverage
Getting a competitive rate is important, but only looking at price can be risky. Instead of only comparing cost, make sure you pay attention to the key aspects of your malpractice insurance policy that will protect you from costly claims and allow you to practice with peace of mind.
Knowing the most common claims facing optometrists is the first step to reducing your risk of a stressful and costly malpractice lawsuit.